Israel announced the fourth batch of 26 Palestinian prisoners was not released Saturday night, March 30, because the Palestinians had meanwhile applied to 15 UN agencies and conventions and threatened to have international courts “convict Israel’s leaders as war criminals.”The Palestinians Thursday upped their price for returning to negotiations, including recognition of the 1967 lines as borders of a future Palestinian state with east Jerusalem its capital; the release of 1,200 prisoners, including multiple murderer Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Saadat.

Israel hit back with penalties, including the suspension of high-level bilateral communications between governments and the relegation of Palestinian affairs to the Government Coordinator Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordecai; a freeze on the release of third-generation cell phone technology to Palestinian Authority-ruled areas and an end to communications equipment exports to the Palestinian cell phone company owned by Mahoud Abbas’s sons. Finally, the 14,000 dunams of Jordan Valley land already allocated to Palestinian farmers would be held up. The Israeli government said further punitive measures were under consideration